Event Date: Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 12:30 p.m.
On Sunday, October 3, 2021, at 12:30 p.m., join them in fighting food insecurity at the grand opening “plug in” of the Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge – where those who need food can have access to healthy, fresh and perishable items and those with food to spare can share their bounty with others. The Fridge is housed in a unique brownstone shed at 124 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights in front of the First Presbyterian Church. It was built by neighbors for neighbors. The Fridge is open 24/7 to donate fresh food or select a healthy meal when you need it. Their Motto: Take What You Need; Leave What You Don’t.
The “plug in” event will launch the Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be shared. Fridge founders will thank local volunteers for launching this great community initiative. They will have children’s sign making, music, a little bit of speechifying and lots of community spirit. And, at the “plug in,” volunteers from church groups to scout troops to book clubs to families and more can sign up to fill the Fridge and care for neighbors in need.
Some Fridge Founders Comment about the Project
Mission and Community: “At the heart of my ministry is the creation of spaces where all are loved and fed,” said Rev. Adriene Thorne, Senior Minister of the First Presbyterian Church. “The Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge fills stomachs, but it does so much more. It teaches lessons about what it means for neighbors to love neighbors. It reminds us that hunger doesn’t look like what we think it does. It invites us to believe that everyone, regardless of age, wealth, or background, can be both giver and receiver. Our community fridge not only feeds hungry neighbors, it builds community.”
Architecture and Design: “As the architect and builder of this structure, I had to reach back to history for this modern project,” said architect James Koster, principal of James Koster Architect, who designed the structure and lead the community build. “The task here was to protect an appliance in use 24/7 to provide fresh food with a design that would be welcomed by neighbors in New York City’s oldest Landmark district. Our brownstone shed design stitches the Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge into the fabric of the neighborhood. It shelters the Fridge with a structure that looks like it has been here all along. Neighbors have embraced the mission and the architecture.”
The Fridge Story
During the pandemic, many neighbors noticed an uptick in food insecurity. Neighbor Darryahn Knight, who founded a pandemic relief organization Dwntown Friendly, suggested a community fridge to Rev. Adriene Thorne, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn Heights. Pastor Adriene put out a call on the social media site Nextdoor seeking volunteers to build a fridge site to provide fresh food in addition to the weekly food pantry for shelf-stable items which has been operating at the church for over 50 years. A group of mostly strangers came together online and in person to organize the project.
Local Brooklyn architect James Koster volunteered to design the shed. Many sheds are metal or plastic, but his unique vision was to make the Fridge look as old as the Landmark Brooklyn Heights neighborhood it serves. Koster led the build with a crowd of enthusiastic crew members, young and old. Volunteers from First Presbyterian along with Plymouth Church, Packer Collegiate School, the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, local food banks and fridges and other neighbors gathered to build the shed this summer.
Children created signs and shared them with local merchants to announce the Fridge. Those same children clean the Fridge and seek donations from families, local businesses and farmers from the Borough Hall Greenmarket each week.
In August, muralists Denton Burrows and Jonathan Neville of Dripped On Productions painted the Fridge’s brownstone-inspired door with a bit of current flair.
The Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge may look old, but it is a new opportunity to care for each other, practice sustainable living and nurture our bodies and our hearts.
Rules on labeling, no raw meat or leftovers and other suggestions are posted and noted below and the status is updated on Instagram @BrooklynHeightsCommunityFridge.
Press/Media Inquiries: Contact Caroline Koster at firstname.lastname@example.org
First Presbyterian Church: @firstchurchbrooklyn www.firstchurchbrooklyn.org or (718) 624-3770.
James Koster Architects: @jameskosterarchitect email@example.com www.jkosterarch.com or (718) 596-2575, ext. 1.